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Re: Transliteration scheme(s)

Dear all,

I sincerely believe that we come up with something solid on the
transliteration issue. I could not get the transliteration page from Tamil
lexicon, but have an identical one from Rajam's Reference grammar on
Classical poetry.  It does not list Grantha letters, and I will soon try
to post another one from the Lexicon.  I have this in the following URL: 
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/plc/tamilweb/translit.html.  I have also given a
link to Kalyan's page here.  I marked with ?? in front of some of the
characters that need immediate attention.

Following are some of the issues that I think we need to discuss. 
Please throw in your ideas also.

      Let us try to have one to one correspondance between roman letters
      and Tamil letters, then we can make suggestions about the
      other options on top of that. (For example: we officially recognize
      A as the first choice, and aa as second choice and so on..)

   1) Are we going to use capital letters for long vowels like A,I, U or
      two subsequent letters like aa, ii, uu etc? 

   2) Are we going to use the letters T, R, N, L and S, or are we going to
      try something new like the one Prof. Schiffman suggested: .t as in
      (pa.t.tu silk),vs. pattu (ten); pa.r.ri (about) vs. maram and so on?

   3) What about using two letters like ng, zh, th etc.?

Please add more problems that you might think of and we can discuss one at
a time; we can also discuss just the issues related to vowels and move on
to consonants, if anybody prefers that way. 


On Wed, 3 Sep 1997, Dr.K. Kalyanasundaram wrote:

> Dear Vasu/Sujatha/Muthu:
> I am happy that we are picking up some momentum in
> discussing various avenues open for possible standards.
> Even at the risk of repeating myself, I would like to state that
> choosing a standard scheme for transliterated tamil is URGENT
> and CAN BE DECIDED EASILY without too much controversy. 
> I am happy that you all think this way.
> (For those of who are not familiar with various transliteration
> schemes that are being discussed, I have a webpge - part of
> my singapore talk presentation- that shows some of the most
> popular schemes including the Library of Congress scheme (LC)
> with diacritical markers used by, of course LC, UC Berkeley, 
> Roja Muthaiah Library of UC Chicago, Inst. of Asian Studies
>  (incl. comprehensive Tamil Lexicon series), ....). Without a
> specific font it is not possible to reproduce them here. 
> The URL  for the gif image is  
> http://www.geocities.com/Athens/5180/trnslt.gif
> I prefer that this topic be addressed concurrently with the
> choices for the tamil character glyphs that can constitute the
> font encoding scheme. As I said in my earlier posting, we 
> need to have hardly 4 marker signs (!) and these four can be
> readily accommodated in the font encoding scheme I gave.
> One integrated font that allows typing tamil using tamil scripts
> and transliterated text using standard scheme with diacritical
> markers can go a long way in standardising tamil computing.
> We do not have to have two different fonts, one for each task.
> Of course, any one can use a simple bilingual (tamil/roman)
>  font to have transliterated tamil text according to a plain 
> ASCII scheme. So we do not have to do anything special
> other than deciding on if we want to adopt a standard for this.
> So the specific questions we need to answer are:
> i) do we go for two transliteration schemes - one with diacritical
> markers and one based on plain ASCII that can co-exist  (like
> keyboard layouts) or decide on one and only one standard? 
> In my opinion, plain ASCII scheme would be inevitable 
> evil to live with for the following reasons: 
> a) if transliterated form of keyboard input has already been 
> accepted as one of the standard options for input (yes yes,  it
> has been decided!!) , it would be better if we can agree on 
> one translit. scheme to be used in all tamil software packages. 
> Obviously this can only be a plain ASC II scheme.
> b)  I cannot see any other way tamil texts/words quoted in newsgroups
> that have been part of the Internet, one that will go more important
> as a means of communication/info. exchange in the future. 
> It may be too much to ask for each and everyone to have the 
> TN 8-bit bilingual, integrated font to post anything in tamil.
> (I guess I have already expressed my stand/cast my vote but
> I am open to discussions/debate on this point)
> ii) for a scheme with diacritical markers, the clear and obvious
> choice would be the LC scheme used widely by indologists.
> It may be a wise decision to specify adopt this scheme. I am
> not if any other candidate would make a serious claim. If there
> are others, please bring them up here so that we can have give
> a fair deal to all prospective candidates. 
> iii) for plain ASCII scheme (if we are going to accept one
> standard for this to co-exist!), there are many candidates.
> Here the relative merits of 'linguistic' (Vasu) and 'human'
> (Muthu) needs are to be considered before the choices are
> narrowed down. In an earlier posting, I have indicated my
> preferences in this context - those based on Adami/Madurai
> schemes. It would be better if Vasu, Muthu and others
> specify their preferences so that we can discuss this issue
> in some detail.
> With best regards,
> Kalyan
> --
> *******************************************************************
> Dr. K. Kalyanasundaram,            |
> Institute of Physical Chemistry,   | Tel: 41-21-693 3622 (off)
> Swiss Federal Inst. of Technology  | Fax: 41-21-693 4111
> CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland      | Email:kalyan@igcsun3.epfl.ch
> *******************************************************************

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